Microsoft Goes All-In on PC Gaming with Xbox Game Pass, Publishing Games on Steam and Win32 Support on Microsoft Store
Microsoft just went all-in on PC gaming with a blog post penned by none other than Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox division. You will surely remember his repeated statements that Microsoft would learn from its past mistakes with PC gaming and today, he certainly made good on those promises.
The biggest news is that Microsoft’s games will now be published on Steam as well, starting with Gears 5 later this year, which means gamers won’t be forced to go with the less-than-ideal Microsoft Store. Another controversial facet of the store is that it had been so far limited to the oft-criticized Universal Windows Platform, and Spencer also revealed games on the Microsoft Store will now support the Win32 format as well.
Last but not least, Xbox Game Pass will be soon available on PC as well. Microsoft is working with over 75 game developers and publishers to deliver a great library of titles for those interested in the subscription service. More information on all of this news will be shared during the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing, due to air on June 9th.
More Choice in Where to Buy Xbox Game Studios Titles
Enabling gamers to play together, through cross-platform play and cross-network play across Windows 10 PCs and console, is vitally important. Building communities across all of those players, regardless of the store or platform they’ve chosen (console or PC), is also vitally important because it helps bring players together, allows games to find their largest audience and allows gaming to deliver its true potential of uniting people around the power of play.
With that in mind, our intent is to make our Xbox Game Studios PC games available in multiple stores, including our own Microsoft Store on Windows, at their launch. We believe you should have choice in where you buy your PC games.
In March, we announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will come to PC later this year, launching on Steam in addition to the Microsoft Store on Windows. We will continue to add to the more than 20 Xbox Game Studios titles on Steam, starting with Gears 5 and all Age of Empires I, II & III: Definitive Editions. We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we’ve heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice. We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future.
We want to bring players together to create a shared player community regardless of where they play, so it’s our intent that new Xbox Game Studios titles include features such as voice and text chat, LFG, friends lists and cross-play across PC and console. On Windows 10 you’ll find this functionality in the Xbox Game Bar, which we’ll continue to evolve and expand.
Supporting Win32 Games on Windows 10
We want creators to be inspired to bring their best content to Windows 10, and we want Windows 10 to be the place where gamers come to discover their next favorite PC game. We recognize that Win32 is the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play, so we are excited to share that we will be enabling full support for native Win32 games to the Microsoft Store on Windows. This will unlock more options for developers and gamers alike, allowing for the customization and control they’ve come to expect from the open Windows gaming ecosystem.